From the New York Times bestselling author of Overwhelmed, comes a deeply reported exploration of why American work isn’t working and how our lives can be made more meaningful.


Brigid Schulte is Founding Director of The Good Life Initiative at the nonpartisan think tank, New America, and serves as Director of the Better Life Lab, working to transform policy, practice, and culture so that people and families have the opportunity to live their best lives at work and at home. She speaks worldwide on redesigning work cultures, reimagining gender roles for a fairer division of labor and opportunity, and recapturing the value of leisure.

Schulte is the author of The New York Times bestseller Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, named a Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year by The Washington Post and NPR, and a 2014 Good Reads Finalist for Best Business Book. Her most recent book is Over Work: Transforming the Daily Grind in the Quest for a Better Life (2024).

A member of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize, she writes widely for publications including Slate, TIME, Forbes, The Guardian, and others, and is a frequent television and radio guest.

Schulte holds an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

Follow her on Twitter @BrigidSchulte and

Speech topics

Over Work: The Future of Better Work, Care and Wellbeing

Long, shapeless work hours. Second jobs and side gigs to make ends meet. Burnout and life-threatening work stress. Post-pandemic return to office fights. Not enough time to take care of ourselves and loved ones or the joy of life. Future of work fears. It’s clear that work is not working and we’re ready for a change. In this talk, journalist and author Brigid Schulte shows us how to start. Through compelling best practices research and the engaging stories of visionaries and change agents from around the globe seeking not just to tweak the margins, but change the way we think about, do and value work, Schulte shows how when we put a premium on human wellbeing, the future of work and life will be better for everyone.

Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love & Play when No One has the Time

Americans work among the longest hours of any advanced economy, driven by the belief that that’s what “ideal workers” do and that busyness is a badge of honor. We expect women to do most of the care work because believe that women are “naturally” better are caregiving, even though research – and our own experience – shows that’s not true. And we believe that leisure is a waste of time. Drawing on her extensive research for her best-selling book and in her role as director of The Better Life Lab at New America, journalist and author Brigid Schulte uses stories, case studies and data to take on these three big myths that shape our lives and lead to Overwhelm and shows there’s a better way, one that leads to more time for meaningful work, love and play.

How to Be a Great Leader and Also Have a Life

Whether you are working from home or working onsite, leadership can sometimes leave you feeling burnt out.  You want to give the job and your team all you’ve got, but do you really have to give it ALL you’ve got?  Can you also have an enriching personal life and find joy outside of work while also being a great leader?  Can you encourage and give permission to your team to do the same?  Join Brigid Schulte, author of How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, as she shares how you can make it all work and enjoy a better life.


Over Work: Transforming the Daily Grind in the Quest for a Better Life

In Over Work: Transforming the Daily Grind in the Quest for a Better Life, journalist and author Brigid Schulte takes readers deep into the causes and painful consequences of a broken system, then offers a hopeful way forward.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time 

Overwhelmed is a book about time pressure and modern life.


The Better Life Lab podcast from Slate and New America will show you why work-life balance seems so unattainable for so many people—and what we as individuals, can do to achieve it.

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